Friday, May 14, 2010
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Holy Cow, that's a lot of bees. Things are going well. The ladies have begun filling out the empty frames I moved around before. Two are half full of comb now. I think two days for two half combs is pretty good progress. Wish there was some way to be sure if moving the combs spurred this development, or if it was only due to population increase. Have to investigate more at a later date when opportunity arises.
As you can see the population has skyrocketed. I would have to say it has nearly doubled in the last week. Decided to put another hive body on top to give them more room. When I did this I moved two of the brood frames to the upper hive body to encourage the ladies to spread out into their new space. Not sure if it will speed the process at all but I thought it would at least let them know they are safe. The nurse bees are still on the brood frames, so the larva are safe. I also refilled the feed box with new syrup today. I would really like to clean it out but there are always so many bees in the entry chamber I'm not sure how to do it.
Saw four small hive beetles(SHB) at various places in the hive. Three were on the bottom board and one was in the feeder. They are bigger than I thought. If I can catch one I will take a picture to post. Anyway, I quashed the one in the feeder and two on the bottom board. The bees were really going after the one on the bottom board I couldn't get to, so all is probably well. As long as there population is strong they should be able to defend against such pests. I also saw some sort of larval worm in the feeder. I believe it was a SHB larva, but will do some research to be sure. It was quickly dispatched.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
My wife has created a beautiful water feature out of a 30's era clothes washer. She has placed flowers around it, water hyacinths in it to help purify the water and a few gold fish to eat the mosquito larvae. Within a day the ladies found it an now use it as a nice watering hole. We have seen quite a few lolling on the plants, taking the occasional sip and washing themselves.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010
Ok, I think I made the ladies angry today. First off it was a little cooler and less sunny than I would like it to have been to enter the hive, but my available days are limited so I needed to take the chance. Once inside the hive I counted the full frames; there were six full leaving half of another and 3 not drawn out. There seem to be plenty of bees. I also saw quite a bit of larva and new eggs in cells that had been used by sisters before them. This is very encouraging and a step in the right direction. I am curious, though as to why they haven't drawn all the comb out. Maybe the population density doesn't merit it yet. Of interest is the fact that they occupy the left hand side(if you are facing the hive) of the hive. Not sure why this is but it is interesting. I also noticed that they have filled all the foundation seams to the frames, except for small opening at the bottom of the frames. These must be access points allowing them to go from frame to frame across the hive without having to go up or down. Smart.
Wondering if I could encourage them to draw out the last three and a half frames I decided to move things around a little bit. I moved the core of the brood space to the right by 2 frames leaving only a pollen stored frames in position 1 from the left. I then took 2 empty frames and put them in positions 2 and 3. The core of the brood space now occupies 4 to 8. I placed the last empty frame in position 9 and filled slot 10 with the half drawn frame. The half drawn frame has no eggs nor brood and seems to be only nectar storage. Hopefully this is not a bad idea. I don't think it will hurt the bees only cause a little bit of disorder and probably set them back a couple of days. I am probably just anxious to get the second hive body on top. I also realized I should probably number the frames with a sharpie marker. I will do that next time.
I am getting more comfortable holding the frames and taking my time with inspections while the bees are crawling on my arms. Just takes a little bit of practice. I saw a hive beetle today and managed to crush the little bugger. Still having a small ant problem. They are not in the hive but definitely like the top feeder. No ant trail was visible today but I did see many dead ants floating in the syrup in the feeder. Yuck. This needs a thorough cleaning. Maybe next time I need to replace the syrup. I see no need to do it prematurely.
I mentioned I think I made them angry. Well I got stung today. It was the second time. Both times were my fault because I wasn't watching were I was putting my fingers and accidentally squashed a bee. I feel bad about that. The throbbing in my finger won't let me forget.
That's all for now thanks.